Clint Miller, organic architect, wanted a home growing out of the Sonoran Desert, one which used simple and indigenous materials as well as reflected his love for the simplicity of European village architecture. Thus, he designed and built the home to harmoniously combine a sense of timelessness with a natural expression of the upper Sonoran desert.
This home looks as though it has been on the Sornoran site for many generations. It is made of exposed Adobe; it is buil from the earth; and it’s thick, mud walls contain a metaphor of the desert and recall a living history of the region.
The home’s adobe block is the structural system, a single wythe masonry unit, which provides an aged, stone-like texture for both the interior and exterior of the building. Traditional adobe is a time-tested material, appropriate to the Sonoran climate and the desert’s palette. Modern adobe block maintains the appropriateness of the traditional material, while sustaining asphalt for straw, which makes the exposed block resistant to moisture and termites. Rather than using a compacted building pad, the structure employs engineered stem walls for its foundation; thus only the buildings’ footprints and narrow perimeters disturb the existing desert flora.
Ultimately, this Sonoran home depends on the subtle union of architecture, landscaping, and interior design to form a whole which acknowledges that a home’s parts function together or not al all. The beauty of the Miller residence stems from the understated integration of these disciplines.